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As the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election came into focus in the hours and days after election night, happiness and relief among Democratic voters over Joe Biden’s victory was increasingly tempered by dismay that Americans had not repudiated Donald Trump’s presidency in the dramatic, 400+ electoral vote landslide that many had hoped for. Now that the dust has largely settled with the vote counting nearly complete, it is worth reevaluating the breadth of the President’s repudiating defeat.

Joe Biden defeated President Trump by an electoral vote count of 306–232; exactly the same tally that Mr. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by four years ago, and that Mr. Trump described at the time as “a massive landslide victory” and (incorrectly) “one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history.” The similarities between the 2016 and 2020 election results largely end there, however — and not in a manner in any way favorable to President Trump. …

Imagine an alternate universe where the COVID-19 pandemic is occurring under a President Hillary Clinton. President Clinton, eager to prevent the resulting economic collapse from spiraling into a second Great Depression, asks the Republican-led Congress to approve a $2 trillion emergency spending package. Can there be any doubt that Senate Republicans would insist on extracting a heavy ransom in return for their cooperation?

We know from experience that Mitch McConnell would undoubtedly seek to exploit his good fortune of finding a Democratic President faced with economic catastrophe in an election year. The Republican Senate would pass a spending package filled with partisan policy riders that would gut environmental regulations, eliminate consumer protections, drastically restrict legal immigration, and codify voter suppression policies like mandatory voter ID. …


Jim J. Irish

Political strategist, sound policy enthusiast, and indelible believer that the latter requires the former. Guided by faith, facts, and the art of the possible.

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